Mytilus (bivalve)

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Temporal range: Jurassic–Present
Mytilus edulis in the intertidal zone in Cornwall, England
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Mytilida
Family: Mytilidae
Subfamily: Mytilinae
Genus: Mytilus
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Mytilus edulis

See text

Mytilus edulis shells washed up on the beach

Mytilus is a cosmopolitan genus of medium to large-sized edible, mainly saltwater mussels, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Mytilidae.[1]

Mytilus mussel in California, showing the byssus threads


Species within the genus Mytilus include:

Human use[edit]

Mytilus mussels are widely exploited as food and used in marine-culture. For instance, in California, they have been consumed by coastal Native American people for almost 12 000 years.[2]


  1. ^ A.W.B. Powell, New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  2. ^ Erlandson, Jon M., T.C. Rick, T.J. Braje, A. Steinberg, & R.L.Vellanoweth. 2008. Human Impacts on Ancient Shellfish: A 10,000 Year Record from San Miguel Island, California. Journal of Archaeological Science 35:2144-2152.